World of Warcraft: The War Within gets a release date, marking the exact start of the MMO's new 3-expansion long era—as well as a shiny CG trailer

The War Within Date Announce Cinematic | Echoes of Azeroth | World of Warcraft - YouTube The War Within Date Announce Cinematic | Echoes of Azeroth | World of Warcraft - YouTube
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We've known that The War Within, World of Warcraft's next expansion, has been slated for later in the year for quite a while now. Moreover, thanks to recent alpha and beta tests, we happen to know quite a bit about it—we know that we're going into the heart of Azeroth, we know that there's a big mysterious light crystal, and now, thanks to the Xbox Games Showcase, we know exactly when it's going to release.

World of Warcraft: The War Within will be available August 26 of this year, which puts it well out of earshot of the other big MMO expansion arriving this year, Final Fantasy 14: Dawntrail. Thank the light, because I'm honestly really excited to play both, and Elden Ring's already going to sap enough of my time away as it is.

World of Warcraft's had something of a resurgence thanks to the grunt work done during Dragonflight, which has added a lot of new evergreen systems to the game and solidified Blizzard's fresh and generous design philosophies. Torghast and borrowed power are out, persistent quality-of-life buffs are in.

Having played a bit of it myself at a preview event, I'm pretty dang excited for The War Within's additions to the game. We're gonna be getting a version of dynamic flight moved to all mounts, a new type of combat content called eelves, and, of course, the alt-friendly Warbands system.

We don't get that much out of the trailer that we didn't already know, except some shiny new CG renders of Faerin Lothar—a member of the Arathi and ancestor of Anduin Lothar—as well as a fun scene of one of the new (probable) allied races, the Harronir, just tearing it up on the dance floor while casting some magic spells.

Likewise, we get a full admission of the big baddie Xal'atath's goal—namely, she's coming for that Worldsoul (the very important thing the entire planet is built around), baby. This is something we've known through context clues for a while, but it's neat to see her outright state it. Cool as she is, we probably ought to schedule a raid night about it and nip that one in the bud.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.